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Author Topic: Coptic Greek Orthodox couple engagement issue  (Read 8178 times) Average Rating: 0
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Addai
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« on: March 05, 2006, 10:09:33 PM »

I've met a new online acquaintence who is Coptic Orthodox, and his fiancee to be is Greek Orthodox.   Both are converts.   They however have hit a bit of a snag in their engagement; because the Greek O lady was brought into her church by only Chrismation.   While my church, The Coptic Church, only baptizes converts.    Anyway I don't know a lot of the details, but I figured I would start the thread to help him out and get the ball rolling.


Thanks for your help.   (By the way I've already gone over the agreement that we have with the Alexandrian EO, but there is still some kind of problem).
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2006, 10:11:54 PM »

If what my Coptic priest friend says is true, there is not really a solution to this problem if she were Protestant before.  If she were Catholic before, I have seen a bishop exercise economy--but not on a former Protestant, because apparently Pope Shenouda III ruled that in the case of Catholics, arguments could be made in favor of their baptism since they have priests, etc., but not with Protestants.

Anastasios
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2006, 10:19:06 PM »

I fear I can't speak for the Coptic side of the issue or what the implications on that side would be, but the Greek Orthodox will marry them without reservation. Rebaptism by the Greek Church would not be an option, since rebaptism of protestants is strictly forbidden (in this country, at least).
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2006, 10:20:49 PM »

If what my Coptic priest friend says is true, there is not really a solution to this problem if she were Protestant before.  If she were Catholic before, I have seen a bishop exercise economy--but not on a former Protestant, because apparently Pope Shenouda III ruled that in the case of Catholics, arguments could be made in favor of their baptism since they have priests, etc., but not with Protestants.

Anastasios

Doh!  I think, like me, she was Lutheran.
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2006, 10:23:56 PM »

I fear I can't speak for the Coptic side of the issue or what the implications on that side would be, but the Greek Orthodox will marry them without reservation. Rebaptism by the Greek Church would not be an option, since rebaptism of protestants is strictly forbidden (in this country, at least).


Thanks that makes sense, I can see the road block.   So basically it looks like he needs to get married in Greek church, and face the disproval of his Egyptain brothers later, for this to work.


I understand other people in similar situations have done similar things.
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2006, 12:58:12 AM »

This is one issue that personally bugs me as well.  I've always wondered why do EO's accept Protestant baptism?  I seem to agree with the Coptic position on this one.

At the same time, I don't agree that any EO would be "re-chrismated" to our church.  That is just plain ignorance of the theology of sacraments, imo.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2006, 12:36:30 AM »

My understanding of the baptism issue, as an EO, is: "we believe in one baptism for the remission of sins". I was taught that if the baptism is/was Trinitarian in nature, no rebaptism is necessary, even though Chrismation is. Hope this helps.
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2006, 01:49:55 AM »

My understanding of the baptism issue, as an EO, is: "we believe in one baptism for the remission of sins". I was taught that if the baptism is/was Trinitarian in nature, no rebaptism is necessary, even though Chrismation is. Hope this helps.

Therefore, is the baptism to be administered by anyone, layman or priest?

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2006, 06:40:09 AM »

I fear I can't speak for the Coptic side of the issue or what the implications on that side would be, but the Greek Orthodox will marry them without reservation. Rebaptism by the Greek Church would not be an option, since rebaptism of protestants is strictly forbidden (in this country, at least).
In fact, in Mt Athos and in the Church of Greece all the protestants who convert to Orthodoxy are being baptized (I don't say "rebaptized" because even in the case of chrismation, the baptism in an heterodox denomination - or church, if you prefer - is recongnized only a posteriori). Even the converts from Catholicism are baptized (at least, in many cases). As far as the Anti-Chalcedonians are concerned, they are received by chrismation, but I know one case that a Coptic woman was baptized in an Orthodox parish church near Athens.
I do know, however, that there are several cases of Protestants who were received in Orthodoxy by baptism in the USA (when I say "Orthodoxy" I mean canonical Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions+ the ROCOR, not schismatic old-calendarists' groups).
Personally, I think that, during these times of doctrinal and spiritual confusion, the Orthodox Church authorities in the USA should at least  leave the catechumens free to choose between chrismation or baptism. There are people who really desire to be baptized and travel to Mt Athos, because their parish priest in the USA is afraid to baptize them, even if he would want to do so. Forgive me, but I think it's doubtful whether these bishops who have "strictly" forbidden the baptism of protestants in the USA do it always out of pastoral concern. I think many of them just don't want to give a hard time to the heterodox religious leaders or to be accused of fundamentalism. Again the question of secularism in the Church...
« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 06:57:09 AM by Yiannis » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2006, 06:51:07 AM »

If what my Coptic priest friend says is true, there is not really a solution to this problem if she were Protestant before.  If she were Catholic before, I have seen a bishop exercise economy--but not on a former Protestant, because apparently Pope Shenouda III ruled that in the case of Catholics, arguments could be made in favor of their baptism since they have priests, etc., but not with Protestants.

Anastasios
It's ironic but Pope Shenouda III - who is anti-Chalcedonian - appears here to be truly more Orthodox than many (Eastern) Orthodox bishops in the West (who are too much ready for a compromise, even if nobody obliges them to do so!). By the way, although I am a Greek Orthodox Christian who is aware of the differences between the Coptic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches, I would like to express here my deep respect for Pope Shenouda for his Christian virtues and for his witness of Christ in a very difficult - even hostile - environment. The Holy Trinitarian God will not abandon our brothers in Egypt.
I wish everyone a blessed and holy Lent.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 06:54:21 AM by Yiannis » Logged

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Anastasios
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2006, 09:18:11 AM »

"I mean canonical Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions+ the ROCOR, not schismatic old-calendarists' groups)."

Oh, we're not canonical? Wink Which canons exactly have we broken?  Smiley I suppose I am baiting you and if you were interested in discussing this issue you would have already posted in a thread on it, but it's hard for me personally to let things like this just slide by without comment.

Anastasios
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2006, 09:38:52 AM »

What are you, Anastasios?
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Anastasios
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2006, 09:55:13 AM »

What are you, Anastasios?

Greek Old Calendarist, under Metropolitan Pavlos of Astoria, about whom I posted last week (he suffered a massive stroke).

I normally don't "play my cards" so to speak, shouting from the rooftops my affiliations.  Being that this site is a large site with a diverse element, this would be suicide for the site, and it is also not something I would do on a human level anyway.  However, sometimes I see things written like that in passing, because if it were written about Non-Chalcedonians it would be a violation of forum policy, so I have to speak up when such things are said in passing about my diocese/church.  But I try to put things with smiley faces and winks because my goal is not so much to banter people but to get people to think about things more (i.e. what does it mean to call a church uncanonical?) I figure all groups are well represented on this site, though.  Here's a breakdown of our team:

Robert--OCA
Mor Ephrem--Indian Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian)
Anastasios--GOC (Old Calendarist)
Pedro--OCA
Chris--GOA
Salpy--Armenian Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian)
SouthSerb99--guess
cleveland--GOA (sorry for previous typo)
Thomas--Antiochian
arimethea--tends to be a bit private so I won't say for him but he's in one of the Big3
--former moderators Ania and Bogo. were ROCOR
--former moderator Nektarios has had Ephraimite and ROCOR leanings
--former global moderator David is OCA
--former global moderator Prodromos is Church of Greece
etc.

Anastasios
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2006, 10:07:24 AM »

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Anastasios--GOC (Old Calendarist)

Would that account for following the Patriarchate of Constantinople?  Smiley

Viva to the Church of Greece (mine)!!!  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2006, 12:57:32 PM »

My understanding of the baptism issue, as an EO, is: "we believe in one baptism for the remission of sins". I was taught that if the baptism is/was Trinitarian in nature, no rebaptism is necessary, even though Chrismation is. Hope this helps.

I am Coptic, but on this issue I tend agree with the EO.  Just because the EO's policy on this issue is more in keeping with the one of the Early Church.   I'm talking about accepting "the LAtin rite".   During the first 450 or so years, the Coptic Church was in Communion with Rome as well as the other Church of the Apostolic age.

There is no record of any protest against the LAtin sprinkling.   We accept LAtin saints of the time as our own (ones that were baptized with sprinkling).   Furthermore we are in Communion with the Armenian church right now.   The Armenian Church on the issue of Holy Communion, does it in a way that doesn't fit out procedure in terms of rite, and I believe Canon laws.   But we still accept their sacraments including communion, and we sometimes have joint worship services with them.


Anyway I see some problems of arbitrariness in this later policy....
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2006, 01:04:55 PM »

In fact, in Mt Athos and in the Church of Greece all the protestants who convert to Orthodoxy are being baptized (I don't say "rebaptized" because even in the case of chrismation, the baptism in an heterodox denomination - or church, if you prefer - is recongnized only a posteriori). Even the converts from Catholicism are baptized (at least, in many cases).

Is this ever refered to as an "economia"?    Which is basically a "do over", without saying the original one wasn't valid.   It's basically doing the rite again with the right procedure, because you realize one part was either flawed or "irregular".   I think the term is actually used more for "ordination with the laying on of hands", as far as consecration of priests, bishops, etc.

So anyway you basically repeat the rite, not denying that the first one was ineffectual, but you are basically fixing or patching up the area that is questionable.

In some ways I think the Coptic approach in it's rationale or mind set may fit this.
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2006, 01:10:42 PM »

If what my Coptic priest friend says is true, there is not really a solution to this problem if she were Protestant before.  If she were Catholic before, I have seen a bishop exercise economy--but not on a former Protestant, because apparently Pope Shenouda III ruled that in the case of Catholics, arguments could be made in favor of their baptism since they have priests, etc., but not with Protestants.

Anastasios


My understanding of our policy is we have a blanket policy of always rebaptizing converts unless they come from an EO church (where they were baptized by immersion). ÂÂ  Both Catholics and Protestants have to be rebaptized. ÂÂ  Of the converts we have in our church, most of them are former Catholic. ÂÂ  And all of them to my knowedge have been Coptic baptized. ÂÂ  Pope Shenouda's statement may mark a loosening up of this policy but it hasn't gone into affect that I'm aware of.


This story however is the obvious "fly in the ointment", to that general rule since the lady wasn't immersion baptized by the Greeks.
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2006, 01:47:20 PM »

Addai,

Bp David specifically approved of the reception by chrismation of a Catholic aquaintance of mine in 2004 in the US.  Whether that action was justified or not, I am not competent to judge.

Anastasios
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2006, 02:16:21 PM »

With respect to the reception of Protestants:

Quote
Inquirer: I am a Christian from an evangelical background. For the last 3 yrs I've been learning about Orthodox Christianity and I've also attended catechumen class in an Indonesian Orthodox Church (Constantinople Jurisdiction). I am considering becoming Orthodox, but there isn't any Oriental Orthodox Church in Indonesia.  I have read materials on many official websites on the Coptic Orthodox Church. I would like to know what would be the standard requirement and procedure that I would have to go through to be a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

H.G Bishop Youssef: I am glad you are interested in the Coptic Orthodox Church. It is unfortunate that there is no Coptic Church in Indonesia. The regular procedure to become a Coptic Orthodox is to:

1) Read alot about Coptic Orthodox Church dogma and history.
2) Attend catechumen classes, which give you the chance to discuss what you learn and have your questions and inquiries answered.
3) Attend the Divine Liturgies and other church services in order to familiarize yourself with the rituals of the church and benefit from the prayers and praises.
4) Finally, once you are surely convinced that this is the true Church that fulfills all your spiritual needs in the way our Lord Jesus Christ and the holy Apostles intended it to do, you get baptized in the Church and then you will be able to partake in the holy sacraments of the Church.

Since you now live in a place where there is no Coptic Church it will be a challenge for you to learn all about this true faith on your own. If you need any help let me know until, God willing, you get  access to a Coptic Church.

Source: http://suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=17&catid=47


In response to another question on the issue of inter-faith/denomenational H.G. says quite explicitly and generally:

Quote
...both partners must be baptized Orthodox.

Source: http://suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=307&catid=253
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2006, 06:33:00 PM »

Personally, it seems reasonable to give Roman Catholics (and for consistency's sake, the Assyrian Church) leeway by chrismation, since they hold priesthood.  Buuuuuuut, that's only a shaded line, and we don't know where to cross the ling.  I believe as the Bible believed that when there is belief in the One Lord and the One Faith, then One Baptism (and thus all other sacraments) is permissible.  Non-Orthodox Christians don't share the same faith.

Basically, if there is a line that is necessary to draw, it is those churches who have no sacramental life or proper Apostolic priesthood whatsoever.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2006, 07:42:54 PM »

Cleveland is GOA not OCA...hope you can just edit that.  Unless you meant to put it down just to mess with him...which wouldn't be all that bad.   Wink

I know that in the Serbian church a lot of priests ask for rebaptism.  But you know, it really is case by case and most of them are very discerning.  
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« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2006, 07:45:39 PM »

Perhaps it would be best for Anastasios to follow a jurisdiction that officially follows the old calendar and is under a Patriarchate as such instead of the old calendarist group? We've heard quite a lot about the old calendarists, and not all of it is good...  Embarrassed
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2006, 07:48:07 PM »

I thought that the Old Calanderists in Astoria were under the Patriarchate.  Like the monastery of St. Irene Chrysovolanthou?  Don't they have their own Patriarch, who is in communion?  Isn't this Anastasios' bishop?  I thought that the name sounded familiar, but I could be thinking of someone else...
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« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2006, 07:54:19 PM »

Perhaps it would be best for Anastasios to follow a jurisdiction that officially follows the old calendar and is under a Patriarchate as such instead of the old calendarist group? We've heard quite a lot about the old calendarists, and not all of it is good...  Embarrassed

Just a quick response--

No, that would defeat the whole purpose.  Calendars are not the main issue. Being on the Old Calendar but with the Patriarchate would be similar (certainly not to the same degree) to using the Byzantine Rite but being with Rome to me.

It's not about liturgical observances but a compromise of faith.  The GOC has the right faith in my opinion and hence that where I belong.

I'm sure you have heard bad things about us Old Calendarists. After all, we are made up of human beings and have sinners amongst us.  But after the recent scandals in the Church of Greece and Jerusalem, one should not cast stones.  The strict confession of faith is the most important objective.  That being said, all of the members of the Old Calendarist Church I have met are quite pious and an excellent example.

Anastasios
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« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2006, 07:58:17 PM »

I thought that the Old Calanderists in Astoria were under the Patriarchate.  Like the monastery of St. Irene Chrysovolanthou?  Don't they have their own Patriarch, who is in communion?  Isn't this Anastasios' bishop?  I thought that the name sounded familiar, but I could be thinking of someone else...

No, there are no Old Calendarist parishes in Astoria under the patriarchate.  You are thinking of the Church of Metropolitan Paisios, who was deposed by our Synod in 1995, then was excommunicated from the next synod he joined, deposed by the third synod he joined, formed a fourth synod and consecrated a deposed ROCOR priest as a bishop, and then was rechrismated and reordained a deacon, priest, and bishop by Patriarch Bartholemew in 1998, even though he had celebrated Divine Liturgy as a bishop all the while between his acceptance by the Patriarch in Nov 1997 and May 1998 when he was "reconsecrated," and who switched to the New Calendar in 2003 after being "Old Calendar but under the Patriarchate" for five years.

Our Church, headed by Metropolitan Pavlos of Astoria (may God heal him; he had a stroke last week) is not affiliated with Metropolitan Paisios in any way.  For us, the issue is not about calendars but about the correct confession of faith.

Anastasios
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« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2006, 09:19:09 PM »

Thank you for the clarification.  I was lost and now I am found.   Wink
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« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2006, 09:26:12 PM »

Anastasios, when you say GOC, do you mean GOA (American church under HE Dimitrios), TOCG from Fili/Oropos, or the GOCG? Sorry, that just confused me.
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« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2006, 09:56:19 PM »

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« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2006, 12:21:01 AM »

I didn't know I switched to the OCA from the GOA... that's strange, considering I'm related to a GOA priest and am studying in the GOA seminary... Wink just given you a hard time, A.

As far as policy on rebaptism of Protestants, there most certainly is not a blanket statement that all Protestants are not to be rebaptized.  If a protestant has not had a baptism, or has not had a baptism that would be considered at least in a trinitarian form, then they will be baptized in the GOA before chrismation and reception.  Even for those "other Christians" that are received, as Yiannis pointed out, their baptisms are only seen as "valid" after they have been perfected by true Chrismation.

An EO marrying an OO?  The stance on this kind of marriage will reflect the policies on how to receive a convert from said church.  If the policy is that OO's are accepted by either chrismation or by confession, then there should be relatively little in the ways of blockages.  If a jurisdiction insists that OO's need to be baptized to become EO, then an EO-OO marriage would pose a problem.

If the theoretical problem is that she only received Chrismation in the EO when received, this is done away with by the understanding of the sacrament and how it affects her previous baptism; she was probably baptized in the catholic or a traditional protestant denomination with a Trinitarian Form, and so the position of the Church is that the chrismation perfected this imperfect baptism, so she should be seen by the Church as having partaken of all the sacraments necessary for communion within the EO, and thus is eligible for marriage within the EO.  From this POV, then, there shouldn't be any more problems for her to marry her OO beau than any normal EO-OO couple where both are "cradles."
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« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2006, 12:42:38 AM »

Quote
As far as policy on rebaptism of Protestants, there most certainly is not a blanket statement that all Protestants are not to be rebaptized.  If a protestant has not had a baptism, or has not had a baptism that would be considered at least in a trinitarian form, then they will be baptized in the GOA before chrismation and reception.  Even for those "other Christians" that are received, as Yiannis pointed out, their baptisms are only seen as "valid" after they have been perfected by true Chrismation.

What concerns me is that no clergy of the Holy Priesthood administered it.  If we must be consistent, any layman can therefore baptize.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2006, 04:05:35 AM »

"I mean canonical Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions+ the ROCOR, not schismatic old-calendarists' groups)."

Oh, we're not canonical? Wink Which canons exactly have we broken?  Smiley I suppose I am baiting you and if you were interested in discussing this issue you would have already posted in a thread on it, but it's hard for me personally to let things like this just slide by without comment.

Anastasios

Sorry brother, I didn't have any intention to insult you.  :)I just wanted to say that there are some - "quitely" performed - baptisms of protestants even in the "mainstream" Orthodox Churches in the USA. By the way, I would like to recommend the book of Fr George Metallinos "I confess one baptism", which exposes the arguments in favor of the baptism of the converts. I would like also to stress that the clause "I confess one baptism" is preceded by the clause "In One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church". The one baptism is placed in the context of the "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church", not outside it. St Antastasius of Sinai (7th c.), in his writing "Hodegus" (=Guide), says that reception of the heterodox in the Church (=Orthodox Church) by chrismation and not by baptism is a matter of economia, so that their return to the bosom of the Church is being facilitated. Therefore, he implies that the baptism would be the normal way, but it is avoided for reasons of pastoral care. As it is well-known that St Anastasius was an opponent of the theology of Severus of Antioch and that he lived in the Middle-East, it is most probable that in that passage he refers to the Anti-Chalcedonians too.
As far as concern the Latin rite of the baptism (by sprinkling), I am absolutely sure it wasn't like this during the first centuries. There are baptisteries in the West (like those in Ravenna, including an Arian baptistery!), which would be completely useless if they weren't used for the rite of a baptism, litterally speaking (by immersion). The Greek word "baptize" means "immerse". The actual Latin rite is a later evolution and it is absolutely uncanonical. I know that many Greek theologians and clergymen refuse even to call it "baptism" and they just call it "sprinkling" (rantisma).
I insist on my opinion that the converts in the USA should at least be given the freedom of choice (baptism or chrismation) on behalf of the bishops and not being obliged - these who desire to be baptized - to seek a "quite" manner and place to do it.

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« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2006, 04:12:04 AM »

As far as policy on rebaptism of Protestants, there most certainly is not a blanket statement that all Protestants are not to be rebaptized.  If a protestant has not had a baptism, or has not had a baptism that would be considered at least in a trinitarian form, then they will be baptized in the GOA before chrismation and reception.  Even for those "other Christians" that are received, as Yiannis pointed out, their baptisms are only seen as "valid" after they have been perfected by true Chrismation.
Very well said! Smiley Only the Church, using economia, can validate a posteriori , a Baptism having taken place in the Name of the Holy Trinity and by the use of water, but outside Her. This is done through chrismation. But, the Chuch can use the akriveia too, if She regards it as necessary. But the Church can use the akriveia too, if She regards it as necessary.
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« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2006, 05:51:37 AM »

So, Anastasios, you want to be Orthodox but not under a Patriarch/one of the churches with conventional status in Orthodoxy?
I think being ROCOR is exactly the same thing, somehow.  Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2006, 08:53:27 AM »

So, Anastasios, you want to be Orthodox but not under a Patriarch/one of the churches with conventional status in Orthodoxy?
I think being ROCOR is exactly the same thing, somehow.  Smiley

No, it is not at all the same thing actually. The ROCOR has not yet been in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate mainly for some political-canonical reasons, but it never has officially broken communion with all the local Orthodox Churches.
For more details see:
http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/articles/vlarina.html

As you surely know, there are official discussions between the ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate and the general tendency in the hierarchy of the ROCOR is the restoring of communion with the MP. Personally, I wish and I hope that the full communion of the ROCOR with the local Orthodox Churches will  be realized quite soon.
I would never regard the ROCOR as uncanonical. Some local Orthodox Churches - f.ex.the Patriarchate of Antioch during the recent decades - have taken such uncanonical decisions that regarding Patriarch Ignatius ("more ecumenist than I am you die" Cheesy) as canonical and Metropolitan Laurus as uncanonical seems to me quite ironic.
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« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2006, 09:03:27 AM »

I didn't know I switched to the OCA from the GOA... that's strange, considering I'm related to a GOA priest and am studying in the GOA seminary... Wink just given you a hard time, A.

Sorry for the typo! Fixed! Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2006, 09:05:52 AM »

Anastasios, when you say GOC, do you mean GOA (American church under HE Dimitrios), TOCG from Fili/Oropos, or the GOCG? Sorry, that just confused me.

When I say GOC, I mean Greek Old Calendarist, under Archbishop Chrysostomos II (Kiousis).  GOA is the term used here in America for the Greek Archdiocese under Arch. Demetrios.  I don't use an acronym for Metropoiltan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili usually.

Sorry for the confusion.

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« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2006, 09:13:47 AM »

So, Anastasios, you want to be Orthodox but not under a Patriarch/one of the churches with conventional status in Orthodoxy?
I think being ROCOR is exactly the same thing, somehow.  Smiley

I'm not quite sure what you mean.  I just composed a two-paragraph answer to you but have decided not to post it.  I don't want to cause a fight.  Suffice it to say I think you misunderstand our position.  If you really are that interested in the subject feel free to private message me, but I don't want to cause any more contention here.

Anastasios
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« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2006, 11:26:17 AM »

If the theoretical problem is that she only received Chrismation in the EO when received, this is done away with by the understanding of the sacrament and how it affects her previous baptism; she was probably baptized in the catholic or a traditional protestant denomination with a Trinitarian Form, and so the position of the Church is that the chrismation perfected this imperfect baptism, so she should be seen by the Church as having partaken of all the sacraments necessary for communion within the EO, and thus is eligible for marriage within the EO.  From this POV, then, there shouldn't be any more problems for her to marry her OO beau than any normal EO-OO couple where both are "cradles."

I was thinking something very similar which was one reason of my objecting.   I think but in less exact theological terms.   My rationale is more along how rites are viewed.    Generally a rite is respected even when it disagrees with your rubrics and canon law.   The Armenian Church way of doing communion disagrees with our but we are still in comunion with them, and even at times worship with them etc.


So there is a general policy of tolerate other rites, when things are done within the context of their own Church.   But things done in the context of your own Church must be done according to Canon Law or there is hell to pay.   I would see this whole incident seems to be proving an exception to this general rule.
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« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2006, 12:34:54 PM »

I don't think sprinking baptism is wrong.  The Didache reports that "if necessary," sprinkling is allowed.

God bless.

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« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2006, 01:08:53 PM »

I don't think sprinking baptism is wrong.  The Didache reports that "if necessary," sprinkling is allowed.

God bless.

Mina

No, it says pouring.  Pouring is not sprinkling. Even Roman Catholics do not believe in baptism by sprinkling.

Anastasios
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« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2006, 01:26:59 PM »

No, it says pouring.  Pouring is not sprinkling. Even Roman Catholics do not believe in baptism by sprinkling.

Anastasios

My bad.
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« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2006, 01:43:12 PM »

So is it possible for a GOA to attend and commune in an Old Calendarist church? There are a couple old calendar greek parishes in my city but I'm not sure if I'd even be welcome for a visit there. AFAIK, they operate the same traditional ways as the monasteries (ie. no pews, no organs, segregated sexes with women wearing mandilli's).
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« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2006, 01:50:38 PM »

So is it possible for a GOA to attend and commune in an Old Calendarist church? There are a couple old calendar greek parishes in my city but I'm not sure if I'd even be welcome for a visit there. AFAIK, they operate the same traditional ways as the monasteries (ie. no pews, no organs, segregated sexes with women wearing mandilli's).

You are most certainly welcome to visit any time.  There are no organs, usually no pews (chairs sometimes are found as a concession), and generally the sexes are segregated although in New York, for instance, it's not enforced strictly as so many people are GOA visitors every week.

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« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2006, 02:32:42 PM »

minasoliman,

Quote
This is one issue that personally bugs me as well.  I've always wondered why do EO's accept Protestant baptism?  I seem to agree with the Coptic position on this one.

While the form of "pouring" (used by many Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church) is certainly not normal or according to Orthodox tradition, I know that in emergencies (such as were someone is extremely frail but they desire to be Baptized) it is permissable within the Orthodox Church.  In the Didache (first century "rule" from an early Church giving simple instructions on certain religious matters) it is said that this form of Baptism is acceptable if there is a necessity.  IOW. it is allowable via a lenient excercise of the Bishop's "economy" (authority in governing the matters of God's household, the Church, in which he is as the High Priest, Christ Jesus.)

Strictly speaking, the Church only recognizes Her own Priestly acts (celebration of the Mysteries.)  This is why in principle, it's entirely possible for the Church to only receive converts (no matter what their background) by a proper, canonically administered Orthodox Baptism by a Priest.  However, it is within Her power to overlook defects in the administration of sacramental rites and to heal whatever may be problematic about them.  This can even be done in the case of receiving clergy from certain denominations without repeating the entire rite of ordination, via chierothesia (the laying on of hands).  In fact I'd say that the rite for this is very instructive about the Church's mindset about what it is doing when it receives converts from heterodoxy without "re"-Baptizing them - the ceremony for chierothesia explicitly asks that whatever may have been faulty or absent from the previous ordination to be healed and for the previous unbelief of the cleric to be forgiven.

So it would be by an extreme excercise of the Hierarchy's Priestly authority, that even many types of Protestants could be received without canonical Baptism.  There would be nothing improper about this, and historically it's been quite common for receiving not simply schismatics who otherwise had fairly Orthodox beliefs, but even those who erred in key points of doctrine.

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« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2006, 02:42:23 PM »

Yiannis,

Quote
Personally, I think that, during these times of doctrinal and spiritual confusion, the Orthodox Church authorities in the USA should at least  leave the catechumens free to choose between chrismation or baptism. There are people who really desire to be baptized and travel to Mt Athos, because their parish priest in the USA is afraid to baptize them, even if he would want to do so. Forgive me, but I think it's doubtful whether these bishops who have "strictly" forbidden the baptism of protestants in the USA do it always out of pastoral concern. I think many of them just don't want to give a hard time to the heterodox religious leaders or to be accused of fundamentalism. Again the question of secularism in the Church...

I've struggled with this issue myself.  While I'm personally inclined to agree that alot of the hesitancy to give canonical Baptism is rooted in a desire not to offend the heterodox, in the end this concern is really secondary - since it is legitimate to receive converts via the second (and sometimes, even third) rite.

Also, I'm not quite sure that the desire not to tick off the heterodox is entirely blameworthy.  Many (though it's an increasingly shrinking number nowdays) Orthodox Hierarchs really do believe in the whole "ecumenical dialogue", and that it will possibly result in the legitimate reconciliation of heterodox groups to Orthodoxy.  As such they feel they don't want to do anything to upset this.  Personally, I think this is misguided; not because I believe there's anything essentially wrong with talking to the heterodox in a civil manner and taking a go at "honey over vinegar".  Rather, I believe this is so because I don't think the process itself is working, and has in fact round aboutly done more harm to the Church Herself than helped anyone outside of Her "come around" to a better way of thinking.  The whole thing has very often been simply a temptation to sin, and sometimes very scandalous sins at that (this is the harm to the Church I'm speaking of, as well as the obvious direct harm done to those who participate in the excesses of the "ecumenical movement").

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« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2006, 02:46:02 PM »

Addai,

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There is no record of any protest against the LAtin sprinkling.   We accept LAtin saints of the time as our own (ones that were baptized with sprinkling).

Well, the Latin Church did not abandon baptism via threefold immersion until well after Rome fell out of communion with the Eastern Patriarchs in the 11th century.  IOW. the Western Saints you rightly venerate, would have been Baptized in the same way the other Saints of the Church were.

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« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2006, 03:51:42 PM »

I insist on my opinion that the converts in the USA should at least be given the freedom of choice (baptism or chrismation) on behalf of the bishops and not being obliged - these who desire to be baptized - to seek a "quite" manner and place to do it.  

I don't think the doctors should be giving the patients the choice of doing reconstructive knee surgery when the doctor says they only need a bandage and some ice; giving the choice on whether to be baptized or just chrismated - it really is damaging to the CHurch, and totally inconsistent with both our ecclesiology and standing practice (of hundreds of years).  I can understand the thinking behind the suggestion, but I feel that having a policy of leaving it up to the catecumen is damaging to the church and against Orthodox practice.
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« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2006, 05:05:02 PM »

I agree with Cleveland.  There has to be some kind of standard.  Leaving it up to the priest only goes so far.  Leaving it up to the catachumen...well, that could be disasterous, and not only for the Church
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« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2006, 07:21:27 PM »

Dear Augustine,

What you say makes perfect sense, but at the same time, I feel there should be a line that needs to be drawn.  In ancient times, heretical and schismatic "Christians" also had sacraments, especially the importance of priesthood.  Today, we have an interestingly unique situation where most Protestants do not.  Thus, my worry still lies on the fact that you may be accepting the baptism from the hands of what is considered in their theology a layman, which is not acceptable in Orthodoxy.

The baptism, in addition, must be administered in a way where people truly believe the effects of such a sacrament to wash away their sins and to have grace of communion in the Church, the Body of Christ, and not just mere symbolism.

God bless.

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« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2006, 08:40:03 PM »

Addai,

Well, the Latin Church did not abandon baptism via threefold immersion until well after Rome fell out of communion with the Eastern Patriarchs in the 11th century.  IOW. the Western Saints you rightly venerate, would have been Baptized in the same way the other Saints of the Church were.



Good to know, thanks.
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« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2006, 08:44:05 PM »

I don't think the doctors should be giving the patients the choice of doing reconstructive knee surgery when the doctor says they only need a bandage and some ice; giving the choice on whether to be baptized or just chrismated - it really is damaging to the CHurch, and totally inconsistent with both our ecclesiology and standing practice (of hundreds of years).  I can understand the thinking behind the suggestion, but I feel that having a policy of leaving it up to the catecumen is damaging to the church and against Orthodox practice.

lol yeah I guess technically speaking that would be "Seeker Sensitive" Orthodoxy. ÂÂ  Which is actually kind of an antithesis, to how the Catechumens have been treated historically by folks like St. Cyril of Jerusalem in his Catechical lectures etc.
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« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2006, 08:50:52 PM »

lol yeah I guess technically speaking that would be "Seeker Sensitive" Orthodoxy.   Which is actually kind of an antithesis, to how the Catechumens have been treated historically by folks like St. Cyril of Jerusalem in his Catechical lectures etc.

Exactly what I was thinking.  Not that we want to totally disregard the needs of the catecumens, but on an issue like "baptism or chrismation" that is theological and ecclesiological in nature, we should not leave the choice up to the uninitiated, but rather to the practice of the Church that exists which they are being baptized into.
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« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2006, 06:41:02 PM »


 Many (though it's an increasingly shrinking number nowdays) Orthodox Hierarchs really do believe in the whole "ecumenical dialogue", and that it will possibly result in the legitimate reconciliation of heterodox groups to Orthodoxy.  As such they feel they don't want to do anything to upset this.  Personally, I think this is misguided; not because I believe there's anything essentially wrong with talking to the heterodox in a civil manner and taking a go at "honey over vinegar".  Rather, I believe this is so because I don't think the process itself is working, and has in fact round aboutly done more harm to the Church Herself than helped anyone outside of Her "come around" to a better way of thinking.  The whole thing has very often been simply a temptation to sin, and sometimes very scandalous sins at that (this is the harm to the Church I'm speaking of, as well as the obvious direct harm done to those who participate in the excesses of the "ecumenical movement").
Very well-said Augustine. I have only a small "objection" (which is not really an objection Smiley): I don't think at all that there is even one hierarch or priest among them who are too much fan of the so-called "ecumenical dialogues" that truly believes that he does so because it could result in the "legitimate reconciliation groups to Orthodoxy". The ecumenists are not that naive! It'just a pretext rehashed like a chewing-gum. I don't know any convert among the heterodox participating in these "dialogues" (imagine, f.ex., a protestant theologian who after a session would declare "I was convinced by the arguments of the Orthodox side and I want to be received into the Orthodox Church!  Shocked Pure science fiction!). Well, I think the "dialogues" have become a - well-financed - entreprise and almost a cult object, an "article of faith" for some secularized clergymen and theologians, who are not really interested in confessing Orthodoxy by deeds and words... Metropolitan Damaskinos of Switzerland (EP, he has abdicated) had participated even in interreligious "shows" (unfortunately, he wasn't alone!). I don't think that Metr. Damaskinos managed to attract any heterodox to the Orthodox Church by his "ecumenical" (or "ecu-maniac") activities. On the contrary, I do know he scandalized quite a few people. On the other hand, quite a few heterodox have become Orthodox by visiting Mt Athos, other monasteries in Greece, in France, in England (especially the monastery of St John the Baptist, founded by blessed Elder Sophrony) or monasteries in the USA. It is well-known that no representatives of the monastacism participate in the so-called "dialogues" (thanks God!).
Of course, I am not for a zealotic attitude towards the heterodox Chrisians and I don't mean that an Orthodox should avoid any contact or dialogue with non-Orthodox or even non-Christian people (I have very good friends that don't share my faith, even a good French friend who has not been baptized at all). I would like just to stress that the institutionized "ecumenical dialogues" have become a source of troubles for the Orthodox Church, mainly because of the secularism of the Orthodox participants in them. To say it straight out, most of the Orthodox faithful today who are conscious about their faith, at least in the tradionally Orthodox countries, don't believe that the bishops or priests who participate systematically in such dialogues are able to witness the Faith. In fact, some of them are so willing to confess the Orthodox faith to the heterodox that they are ashamed (or just don't want to) of observing a fast in a common meal Cheesy!
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« Reply #53 on: March 09, 2006, 06:53:49 PM »

I don't think the doctors should be giving the patients the choice of doing reconstructive knee surgery when the doctor says they only need a bandage and some ice; giving the choice on whether to be baptized or just chrismated - it really is damaging to the CHurch, and totally inconsistent with both our ecclesiology and standing practice (of hundreds of years).  I can understand the thinking behind the suggestion, but I feel that having a policy of leaving it up to the catecumen is damaging to the church and against Orthodox practice.
Of course it is so, but only if the "doctors" are scientifically adequate. In this case, there is a clear disagreement among the "doctors" as far as the treatment is concerned and, furthermore, I doubt if the "doctors" who have introduced the nouveauté of the "baptismal theology" are really good ones. So, who are the best doctors? Good question...
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 08:57:12 PM by Yiannis » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2006, 02:27:18 AM »

Yes, this is pretty much the same post I placed in a thread of the "Free-for-All" forum, but I feel that it would be more appropriate for me to place it in a much more current thread.  (Please forgive me this redundancy, for I'm rather new to this forum.)

I think we could learn a lot about the issue of re-baptism by examining the 3rd Century quarrel between Bishop St. Cyprian of Carthage and Pope St. Stephen of Rome.


Bishop St. Cyprian (together with Firmilian, his disciple in Asia Minor) (from www.NewAdvent.org and www.OrthodoxInfo.com)
  • Outside the Church there is no salvation.
  • Those who are outside the Church and have not the Holy Spirit cannot admit others to the Church or give what they do not possess.
  • “If any one could be baptized among heretics, certainly he could also obtain remission of sins.  If he attained remission of sins, he was also sanctified.”
  • "When they know that there is no baptism without, and that no remission of sins can be given outside of the Church, they more eagerly and readily hasten to us, and implore the gifts and benefits of the Church, our Mother, assured that they can in no wise attain to the true promise of divine grace unless they first come to the Truth of the Church.”
  • Apostolic Canon 46:  “We ordain that a bishop, or presbyter, who has admitted the baptism or sacrifice of heretics, be deposed. For what concord hath Christ with Belial, or what part hath a believer with an infidel?”  (Note from www.bible-researcher.com: The Apostolic Canons was one of many additions made by the final editor of an ancient Syrian book of church order called The Apostolic Constitutions.  The whole document purports to be from the apostles, but this imposture is not taken seriously by any scholar today.  Nevertheless, the work is useful as evidence for the opinions of a part of the Syrian churches towards the end of the fourth century.)

Pope St. Stephen (from www.NewAdvent.org)
  • Pope Stephen declares that he is upholding the primitive custom when he declares for the validity of baptism conferred by heretics.
  • Neither Cyprian, however, nor his zealous abettor, Firmilian, could show that re-baptism was older than the century in which they were living.
  • The contemporaneous but anonymous author of the book "De Rebaptismate" says that the ordinances of Pope Stephen, forbidding the re-baptism of converts, are in accordance with antiquity and ecclesiastical tradition, and are consecrated as an ancient, memorable, and solemn observance of all the saints and of all the faithful.  St. Augustine believes that the custom of not rebaptizing is an Apostolic tradition, and St. Vincent of Lérins declares that the Synod of Carthage introduced re-baptism against the Divine Law (canonem), against the rule of the universal Church, and against the customs and institutions of the ancients.  By Pope Stephen's decision, he continues, antiquity was retained and novelty was destroyed (retenta est antiquitas, explosa novitas).
  • It is true that the so-called Apostolic Canons (xlv and xlvi) speak of the non-validity of baptism conferred by heretics, but Döllinger says that these canons are comparatively recent, and De Marca points out that St. Cyprian would have appealed to them had they been in existence before the controversy.
  • Pope St. Stephen, therefore, upheld a doctrine already ancient in the third century when he declared against the re-baptism of heretics, and decided that the sacrament was not to be repeated because its first administration had been valid.  This has been the law of the (Western) Church ever since.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 02:28:50 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2006, 06:35:59 AM »

Thanks Peter the Aleut for the most useful information. Yes, indeed, the (re)baptism of the heterodox has been a controversial matter since the Christian Antiquity. It is interesting, however, that St Anastasius the Sinaite (7th c.) grounds the reception of the heterodox by chrismation merely on pastoral concern. Since he feels the necessity to answer this matter in his Hodegos, it seems that the question of the validity of the heterodox baptism was still existant at his time.
Generally speaking, what I have understood from what I have read on this matter is that, in the cases of chrismation of the heterodox Christians, the Church recognizes a posteriori the validity of the heterodox baptism. It is not recognized a priori.
Of course, what I am saying doesn't imply at all that I am inclined to consider the converts received by chrismation to be "less" Orthodox than those received by baptism. They are both fully Orthodox Christians.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 08:47:53 AM by Yiannis » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2006, 10:20:23 AM »

Many times I have linked some interesting studies on the reception of converts; in fact, once I authored a bibliography on the subject. Searching the archives will yield this.

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« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2006, 03:40:28 PM »

Very well-said Augustine. I have only a small "objection" (which is not really an objection Smiley): I don't think at all that there is even one hierarch or priest among them who are too much fan of the so-called "ecumenical dialogues" that truly believes that he does so because it could result in the "legitimate reconciliation groups to Orthodoxy". The ecumenists are not that naive! It'just a pretext rehashed like a chewing-gum. I don't know any convert among the heterodox participating in these "dialogues" (imagine, f.ex., a protestant theologian who after a session would declare "I was convinced by the arguments of the Orthodox side and I want to be received into the Orthodox Church!  Shocked Pure science fiction!). Well, I think the "dialogues" have become a - well-financed - entreprise and almost a cult object, an "article of faith" for some secularized clergymen and theologians, who are not really interested in confessing Orthodoxy by deeds and words... Metropolitan Damaskinos of Switzerland (EP, he has abdicated) had participated even in interreligious "shows" (unfortunately, he wasn't alone!). I don't think that Metr. Damaskinos managed to attract any heterodox to the Orthodox Church by his "ecumenical" (or "ecu-maniac") activities. On the contrary, I do know he scandalized quite a few people. On the other hand, quite a few heterodox have become Orthodox by visiting Mt Athos, other monasteries in Greece, in France, in England (especially the monastery of St John the Baptist, founded by blessed Elder Sophrony) or monasteries in the USA. It is well-known that no representatives of the monastacism participate in the so-called "dialogues" (thanks God!).
Of course, I am not for a zealotic attitude towards the heterodox Chrisians and I don't mean that an Orthodox should avoid any contact or dialogue with non-Orthodox or even non-Christian people (I have very good friends that don't share my faith, even a good French friend who has not been baptized at all). I would like just to stress that the institutionized "ecumenical dialogues" have become a source of troubles for the Orthodox Church, mainly because of the secularism of the Orthodox participants in them. To say it straight out, most of the Orthodox faithful today who are conscious about their faith, at least in the tradionally Orthodox countries, don't believe that the bishops or priests who participate systematically in such dialogues are able to witness the Faith. In fact, some of them are so willing to confess the Orthodox faith to the heterodox that they are ashamed (or just don't want to) of observing a fast in a common meal Cheesy!


Yeah I think the talks are well intended, but a bit like the United Nations.   Where the West/ US pays the bill, so third world dictatorships can lecture us about our deplorable human rights record, obstruct our foreign policy goals etc.


of course I refer to past threads like this one...


Protestants Unveiled at the Conference of Middle East Churches

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7559.0
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